Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Sad and Difficult Results from the Anglican Primates Meeting

Sad, sad situation
Meeting in Tanzania, the Primates of the Anglican Communion called on the U.S. Episcopal Church to state explicitly by September 30th that it will bar the blessing of same-sex unions and stop consecrating openly gay bishops. Otherwise, it risks further isolation from the 77-million-member Anglican Communion. They made provisions for "alternative oversight" for those who feel they cannot be under the direction of the U.S. Presiding Bishop. They asked all sides of those in the U.S. in disputes over church properties to put legal processes and provocations on hold. The U.S. Presiding Bishop described the charge coming out of the meetings as a call for a "season of fasting" in which we the communion is to "fast" from authorizing rites for blessing same-sex unions and consecrating bishops in such unions on the one hand, and from transgressing traditional diocesan boundaries on the other.

What do we make of all of this? Perhaps it is too early to tell, but the situation feels bad to me. In order to really meet the demands of the Primates, a special episcopal convention would have to be called. Even if that could be done, it feels highly questionable to me that it would bring itself to fully satisfy what the Primates seem to be requiring. It feels to me like we are in for a lot more pain, arguments, and bad feelings all around. This will surely divert all of us from doing the true work of the gospel.

Does anyone have a more hopeful prognosis? Comments welcome...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Communique said: "make an unequivocal common covenant that the bishops will not authorise any Rite of Blessing for same-sex unions in their dioceses or through General Convention "

which is slightly different from:

"to state explicitly by September 30th that it will bar the blessing of same-sex unions"

Wed Feb 21, 10:24:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger PamBG said...

This is making big waves over here in the UK but I can't understand the communique itself (not being either a canon lawyer or intimately familiar with Anglicanism). One commentator over here seems to think the "liberals have won" and another thinks the "liberals have been censored". (?????)

I am sad for the Anglican communion. And I wonder how it is British Methodists are supposed to be seeking "full visible unity" with the Church of England under such circumstances? Like a lot of UK Methodists (not all, I admit), I want to be in a denomination where people can live their disagreements on this issue (being rather Girardian myself!). I'm wondering if Anglicanism and UK Methodism will ultimately come to schism on this issue.

Wed Feb 21, 12:39:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger spankey said...

having not read all of the communique (it is dreadfully boring), I'm speaking out of some ignorance. However, it seems to me that the HoB could begin the process at their next meeting, which should suffice until a more formal statement can be made at GC 09 (along with an approval of the Covenant - though I doubt both due to the current state of the HoD).

The great hope, and I think +KJS sees it too, is in the Primatial Vicar agreement. I pray that this might begin the work of reconciliation. And who knows, maybe we can all talk long enough to realize that the old liberal/conservative debate is useless and a false construction and move on to a different, more healthy way of being church.

Wed Feb 21, 05:11:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger S and C said...

Steve, good for you for imagining a possible way that reconciliation might be possible. Thanks to all for the comments thus far. ---S.

Wed Feb 21, 07:20:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is a more hopeful prognosis:

Sat Feb 24, 12:43:00 AM GMT-5  

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